You answer this question on a consultation with an immigration attorney experienced in these types of cases. Why? it is very fact specific inquiry.
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Step 1 is to meet with an experienced immigration attorney to review all the requirements, documentation, etc.
The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently stated: "The Immigration and Nationality Act is a bit of a beast. It is not known for being warm or cuddly; words like "intricate" and "Byzantine" come more readily to mind. Nor is it known for being easy to understand; we have often re-marked on its fiendish complexity."
You should retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case. You can find one through http://www.ailalawyer.com.
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The best way is to fly home and apply at the US Consul there. That way you'll avoid any overlap and can safely switch.
NOW is the time to meet with an attorney.
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Don't quit your current position until you ger the E-2 petition approved. You need to prepare for the worst case scenario, so you can prepare your plan based on certain conditions. However, since the immigration wants to see that you are committed as an investor, you would have to make many critical decisions along the way, so a competent immigration is a must, I believe. Best of luck to you.
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Generally speaking, one can file for a 'change of status' to another ground of E from a previous E if the prior status is still lawfully maintained. If the change of status (new filing) is approved, you can leave job one for job two (owner/investor). If it is all done properly, you shouldn't have to leave the U.S. to accomplish this. Clearly, good attorney involvement and preparation will be key.
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The decision will be a matter of strategy within the limitations of the law. Also - there is are some different procedures and restrictions depending on the way you go. Further, there are many requirements for the E2 visa. I think you should speak with an E2 lawyer regarding this.
Sachdev Law PC - Phone: 916-248-6667 (free initial phone consultation).
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